Ferrari unveils new organisation and top team to face electrification challenge

FILE PHOTO: Monza, Italy - September 12, 2021 Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna and team principal Mattia Binotto are seen in protective face masks on the grid before the race REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Ferrari on Monday unveiled a new organisation and leadership changes to help it streamline processes, in the first major move by the sportscar maker's new chief executive as the company embraces electrification.

Benedetto Vigna, a tech industry veteran and a former top executive at chip maker STMicroelectronics, took the CEO role in September with a task to drive Ferrari into a new era of cleaner, quieter and interconnected mobility.

The new structure, designed to sharpen Ferrari's technology focus and product exclusivity, will see more key operations segments directly report to the CEO, including "Product Development and Research & Development", "Digital & Data" and "Technologies & Infrastructures", the company said.

It will allow Vigna to reduce intermediate layers of management, making the carmaker, known for it roaring high-octane sportcars, faster and more agile, a source close to the matter said.

As part of the overhaul, the company appointed Gianmaria Fulgenzi - at Ferrari since 2002 and recently head of supply chain at its racing division - as chief product development officer, it said.

Ernesto Lasalandra was hired from Vigna's former employer STMicro to become Ferrari's chief research and development officer.

Silvia Gabrielli, who joined Ferrari in 2019 from Microsoft, was appointed chief digital and data officer to boost "the digital transformation process throughout the company, ensuring more data driven and digitally focused processes."

"The new organizational structure will further foster innovation, optimise processes and increase collaboration both internally and with partners," Ferrari said in a statement.

Ferrari also hired Angelo Pesci from STMicro, where he has spent over 20 years dealing with financial planning, supply chain and product planning, services and operations. He was named chief purchasing and quality officer at the Italian company.

Bestinver analyst Andrea Trovarelli said in a report that Vigna's decision to hire two top executives from STMicro suggested he was "turning to trusted allies to aid his turnaround and to put the iconic manufacturer on course for electrification."

Ferrari has confirmed Mattia Binotto as boss of its Formula One racing team, it added.

As part of its internal shake-up, the company last month anticipated three top executives were leaving the company, including Chief Technology Officer Michael Leiters and Chief Brand Diversification Officer Nicola Boari, who oversaw Ferrari's push beyond its luxury sports car business, with the unveiling in June of its first in-house fashion collection.

Vigna will run the "Brand Diversification" function on an interim basis, Ferrari said.

The source said Vigna firmly believed in Ferrari's brand strategy but wanted to oversee the way it is managed, to make sure it can act with a "start-up mode" before a long-term boss for this function is appointed in the coming months.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Bernadette Baum)

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